Students further enrich their academic programs through a variety of learning opportunities offered by the department outside of the classroom. Students can design independent reading and research projects with faculty approval that explore subjects outside their regular curriculum or allow them to delve more deeply into an area of particular interest.
The department has offered off-campus programs in France, England, and the Czech Republic. Future programs may explore Appalachian history, the borderlands of the American Southwest, or the cosmopolitan culture of Brazil. Some majors have pursued semester long programs at universities in France, Greece, Mexico, and Spain. Others have pursued individual off-campus study in January or during the summer under a faculty member's guidance.
Majors also undertake internships in areas that relate to their academic field and future career goals. During the January Term, history majors have served as teaching aides, clerks at law firms, or as members of museum staffs. Semester long programs in Washington, D. C., Boston, Philadelphia, or New York also mix classroom experience in urban universities with internships in congress or other institutions in the public and private spheres. One recent graduate pursued her internship as a Foreign Service officer in El Salvador.